Introduction to the verb compliquer
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The English translation of the French verb compliquer is “to complicate.” It is pronounced kohm-plee-kay in its infinitive form.
Compliquer comes from the Latin word “complicare,” meaning “to fold” or “to connect.” It entered the French language in the 15th century and has been in use ever since.
In everyday French, compliquer is used to describe situations or actions that become more difficult or complex. It is often used in the Plus-que-parfait tense, which is the past perfect tense in English. This tense is used to talk about an action that was completed before another action in the past.
Here are three simple examples of how compliquer is used in the Plus-que-parfait tense:
- J’avais compliqué les choses en oubliant les clés de la voiture. (I had complicated things by forgetting the car keys.)
- Tu avais compliqué la situation en ne suivant pas mes instructions. (You had complicated the situation by not following my instructions.)
- Ils avaient compliqué leur voyage en choisissant un itinéraire plus long. (They had complicated their trip by choosing a longer route.)
In all three examples, compliquer is used to describe an action that was completed before another action in the past. In the first sentence, forgetting the car keys happened before the speaker realized that things had become more difficult. In the second sentence, not following instructions happened before the situation became more complicated. And in the third sentence, choosing a longer route happened before the trip became more difficult.
Table of the Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of compliquer
|J’avais compliqué la situation.
|I had complicated the situation.
|tu avais compliqué
|Tu avais compliqué l’exercice.
|You had complicated the exercise.
|il avait compliqué
|Il avait compliqué les choses.
|He had complicated things.
|elle avait compliqué
|Elle avait compliqué la tâche.
|She had complicated the task.
|on avait compliqué
|On avait compliqué la procédure.
|One had complicated the procedure.
|nous avions compliqué
|Nous avions compliqué le processus.
|We had complicated the process.
|vous aviez compliqué
|Vous aviez compliqué la discussion.
|You had complicated the discussion.
|ils avaient compliqué
|Ils avaient compliqué la situation.
|They had complicated the situation.
|elles avaient compliqué
|Elles avaient compliqué les choses.
|They had complicated things.
Other Conjugations for Compliquer.
Le Present (Present Tense) Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Imparfait (Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Passé Simple (Simple Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Passé Composé (Present Perfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Futur Simple (Simple Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Futur Proche (Near Future) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer (this article)
Passé Antérieur (Past Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Futur Antérieur (Future Anterior) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Subjonctif Présent (Subjunctive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Subjonctif Passé (Subjunctive Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Subjonctif Imparfait (Subjunctive Imperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Subjonctif Plus-que-parfait (Subjunctive Pluperfect) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Conditionnel Présent (Conditional Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
Conditionnel Passé (Conditional Past) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
L’impératif Présent (Imperative Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
L’infinitif Présent (Infinitive Present) Tense Conjugation of the French Verb compliquer
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Compliquer – About the French Plus-que-parfait (Pluperfect) Tense
The French “plus-que-parfait” tense is a past tense used to express actions or events that occurred before another past action or event. It is often translated to English as the “pluperfect” tense. The name “plus-que-parfait” literally means “more than perfect,” indicating that it is a tense used to describe actions that were completed before a specific point in the past.
To form the plus-que-parfait tense, you typically use the auxiliary verb “avoir” (to have) or “être” (to be) in the imperfect tense, followed by the past participle of the main verb. Here are the conjugations for both auxiliary verbs:
1. With “avoir” as the auxiliary verb:
– J’avais mangé (I had eaten)
– Tu avais parlé (You had spoken)
– Il/elle/on avait fini (He/She/One had finished)
– Nous avions lu (We had read)
– Vous aviez choisi (You had chosen)
– Ils/elles avaient joué (They had played)
2. With “être” as the auxiliary verb (usually for intransitive verbs or verbs indicating a state):
– J’étais parti(e) (I had left)
– Tu étais arrivé(e) (You had arrived)
– Il/elle/on était tombé(e) (He/She/One had fallen)
– Nous étions resté(e)s (We had stayed)
– Vous étiez né(e)(s) (You had been born)
– Ils/elles étaient monté(e)s (They had gone up)
Common everyday usage patterns
Sequencing of past events
The plus-que-parfait is used to express a past action that happened before another past action. For example, “J’avais mangé avant qu’il ne soit arrivé” (I had eaten before he arrived).
It is also used to provide background information or set the stage for a main past event. For instance, “Quand je suis arrivé, ils avaient déjà fini de manger” (When I arrived, they had already finished eating).
Hypothetical or reported speech
In indirect speech, the plus-que-parfait is used to report what someone had said or thought in the past. For example, “Il avait dit qu’il viendrait demain” (He had said that he would come tomorrow).
Interactions with other tenses
– The plus-que-parfait is often used in conjunction with the passé composé (simple past) to establish the sequence of past events. The passé composé describes the more recent action, while the plus-que-parfait describes the action that occurred earlier.
– It can also be used with the conditional mood to express a hypothetical past event, like “Si j’avais su, j’aurais agi différemment” (If I had known, I would have acted differently).
– When used in reported speech, it can be combined with the conditional mood or the imperfect subjunctive to reflect the original mood and tense of the reported statement.
The French plus-que-parfait tense is an essential part of the language for expressing past actions that occurred before other past actions, providing background information, and reporting past statements or thoughts. It is an integral component of constructing complex and accurate narratives in French.
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